Amanthi Harris has written an engaging novel, incensed at times by the darker shadows that loom on an atmospheric coastal haven Romesh Gunesekera
On a patch of Sri Lanka s exquisite southern coast stands the Villa Hibiscus. It is Padma s home. The owner of the villa, Gerhardt, is an elderly Austrian architect to whom Padma was taken when young by Sunny, her scheming father. He had hoped to use his attractive child to entice the wealthy new foreigner in the area. Gerhardt, in turn, adopted Padma, paying Sunny to stay away until she is grown up, when Gerhardt expects to have sent Padma to university, far away.
But Padma fails her exams and is lonely in the city, gladly returning to her beloved old home by the sea. With Gerhardt s help, she creates a guest house at the villa. Soon, guests start to arrive, opening new vistas for Padma through their friendship and love. Then Sunny appears, ready to reclaim his daughter
A captivating novel about the meaning of home and family, love and loss, Beautiful Place marks the arrival of a dazzling new voice.